For years, Aquaman has been the butt of many jokes. Despite this, he has been moving up in terms of popularity. Geoff Johns has been working on bringing the character to new heights (or perhaps we should say new depths...below the ocean) and Aquaman isn't the same character he used to be. Since his return before the launch of the "New 52" in the Brightest Day story arc, Aquaman is becoming more than just a character that swims around and 'talks' to the fish.
As is the case with many of the "New 52" titles, there are often some surprising outcomes as we discover what elements of the characters have changed and what remains the same. AQUAMAN #5 is setting the stage for the next story arc but we witnessed several interesting situations. If you haven't already, be sure to read the issue as there will be some spoilers below.== TEASER ==
Aquaman in the Middle of the Desert
Where would you expect the typical Aquaman story to take place? Often they occur deep beneath the ocean or at least close to a body of water of some sort. That wasn't the case in this issue. After being beaten down a little and thrown from an aircraft, Aquaman found himself in the middle of a desert. Normally this wouldn't be too big of a deal for a superhero but Aquaman is someone that depends on water. His body needs it.
At least this time in the desert allowed him to do some self reflecting on who he is and where he's going. In other words, he did a little hallucinating which provided some insight into his character.
The "A" Doesn't Stand for "Aquaman"
Since his debut seventy years ago, Aquaman has pretty much always brandish a big "A" on his belt buckle. Coming from royalty, a little bit of arrogance wouldn't be a surprise. Then again, as a superhero, this could be similar to Superman wearing the "S" emblem on his chest. Superheroes usually have a symbol as part of their costumes.
It turns out the "A" actually stands for "Atlantis." This makes perfect sense as the symbol has been seen in other areas. Aquaman might be the hero of the ocean but it wouldn't make sense for his symbol to be everywhere.
Aquaman Has Super-Hearing
Aquaman does more than just swim around. He's always possessed several enhanced abilities. In the first issue of this series, we saw his skin is bullet proof. This is logical as his body needs to be able to withstand the crushing forces of the deep ocean.
Of course he has some super-strength as well. Swimming in those crushing depths would take some effort. He can swim at high speeds and has even been shown able to leap farther than a normal person on land.
Going along with the strength he has had great stamina in order to do all that swimming around. What we haven't really seen before was the idea that he had super-hearing. If you've ever been underwater, you know sound travels a little differently than when you are on land. There's also the effects of the water and the pressure on his eardrums and so forth. We don't know the extend of how powerful his hearing is but perhaps we will see it mentioned more often.
Aquaman Gave Up the Throne for Mera
Aquaman has often been known as the King of Atlantis. Even in JUSTICE LEAGUE when he comes out of the water, he mentions the effects of Darkseid's plan being felt in his city. Aquaman has lost his throne before but it's mentioned here that he actually gave it up for Mera. She comes from a questionable past. We saw a lot recently during BRIGHTEST DAY and now Aquaman has chosen to live on the surface with her in a lighthouse in Amnesty Bay.
If Aquaman gave up the throne and walked (swam) away from Atlantis, who is in charge now?
Someone Sunk Atlantis
Atlantis is the lost civilization that used to be on the surface but somehow ended up at the bottom of the ocean. Whether it was a natural occurrence or the results of a dastardly plan, there haven't been a lot of stories dealing with the city's origins. Through an ancient piece of Atlantean technology, Aquaman is able to view a recorded message. Atlantis was attacked. Their "enemy" was attacked by someone using the ocean against them.
What we have to wonder now is how long ago did this happen? The piece of tech Aquaman examines is supposed to be centuries old. It also contained the recorded message. If Atlantis was attacked and sunk, who was responsible? Is this knowledge that is unknown to the people of today's Atlantis? What does this have to do with the Trench and why was there a shadowy monstrous face outside Aquaman's window during the storm in the middle of the night?
Some of these answers may have been answered before but as with the rest of the DCU in the "New 52," there's a lot that's changing and being rewritten. The fun part is being able to witness it all as it happens for "the first time." With the history of Atlantis now about to be explored, we're bound to be treated to even more revelations about Aquaman.